A Change of Guard

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Saturday, 31 January 2009

Thai farmers forced Thai authority to ban import of Khmer rice

Truckloads of rice waited for a week to transport rice to Thailand, but border checkpoint remained closed by Thai authority.

Koh Santepheap Newspaper
30th January, 2009
Reported in English by Khmerization

Banteay Meanchey - For more than a week, the Thai authority has closed the Robieng Checkpoint and banned the imports of Khmer rice to Thailand.

The price of rice has gone down dramatically since the ban which caused Khmer traders to fall deeper into debt as most of them borrowed the money to buy rice from Cambodian farmers to export to Thailand.

Cambodian farmers said that at the start of the harvest season the price of rice was good, but after the Thai authority closed Robieng Border Checkpoint, the price of rice had dropped dramatically. Sources said that all rice transported from various provinces to export to Thailand are now being stockpiled on the borders.

Cambodian sources said that the reason of the border closure was due to the protests by Thai farmers living along the borders who demanded that Thai traders stop buying rice from Cambodia because the cheap imports from Cambodia have caused the price of rice in Thailand to drop dramatically. The Thai protesters demanded that Thai traders must buy all the rice from Thai farmers first before buying rice from Cambodian farmers.

Cambodian rice traders said that the Robieng Checkpoint authority has demanded them to pay between 1500-2000 Baht per truck. Now they lose money because they cannot exports those rice to Thailand.

Provincial officials said that Cambodian Rice Association has offered to buy rice from Cambodian farmers cheaply, that's why they sell their rice to traders who in turn export those rice to Thailand.


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